from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A meaningless expression prefixed in Japanese poetry to other words for the sake of euphony.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
_Nubatama-no_ (a "pillow-word") is written with characters signifying "like the black fruits of _Karasu - [= O] gi_;" and the ancient phrase "_nubatama no yo_" therefore may be said to have the same meaning as our expressions "jet-black night," or
[Footnote 8: _Hisakata-no_ is a "pillow-word" used by the old poets in relation to celestial objects; and it is often difficult to translate.
The pillow-word in the third line (_maso-kagami_) is untranslatable.] -- And yet it has been gravely asserted that the old Japanese poets could find no beauty in starry skies! ...